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Business Process Management is not about process, it’s about user experience

Blog: Colin Crofts - Business Process Improvement

If you think that user experience and Business Process Management are two separate things, I think you should reconsider.  “But process management is about processes!” I hear some of you say. However, process is the means to the end and not the end itself. Processes are used to achieve something like create a product or service, sell something, buy something and so on. And more often than not, people are involved in these processes. In those cases where people are involved, they are usually a key part of the process and as such one of the (if not THE) main driver for success. How do you maximize success in this context? Simple: You deliver the best possible user experience for those people that have the biggest impact on the success of your business.
Let me elaborate a bit and you might just agree with me at the end of this blog post.
A little while back, we held a webinar on the topic of driving innovation through an improved user experience (UX) with BPM. In case you missed it, you can watch the recording here.

UX is not UI

In the webinar, Dan Roberts and I walk through a real-world example of a process automation scenario and show what user experience for the different process participants looked like before we implemented the solution and how it positively changed for every single persona participating in the process.  These improvements could be changes in terms of user interfaces being easier to handle and containing some intelligence to actively support users in their tasks, but they could also be user experience improvements that have nothing to do with a web or mobile UI. In those cases we have to look at the broader context of user experience where maybe you have saved the person some mind-numbing data entry task altogether or where you now allow someone an additional communication channel (i.e. customer receiving mobile status updates instead of having to call customer service for a status update).  It is a much broader topic that just user interface design and I’d like to encourage you to read Wesley Haines’ blog over here for a deeper insight into UX vs. UI.
User experience is what is going to make or break your new process-driven application, so make sure to spend enough time with your different process participants to understand exactly what issues they need to deal with as part of their everyday routines. This will get you very quickly from a theoretical world of as-is and to-be processes into a world of how work gets actually done and you have to bring these two into harmony. Don’t see this as a hindrance. See it as an opportunity to increase acceptance for your solution.
I don’t think it is a big surprise to see that many organizations are now looking at Customer Experience Management as the guiding element behind Integration- , Monitoring- or Process Automation projects. It is a pretty obvious thing to do as this allows you to focus your experience improvement efforts and the required IT support on one thing: The group of people who are the reason for your organization’s existence – your customers.  Make them the center of your process improvement efforts and they will reward you if you do it right.
SOURCE: Software AG

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